The Ames Hotel Has Closed to Make Room for Suffolk Students

The university will close on the sale of the Hilton-owned downtown hotel September 24.

Ames Boston Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton Exterior Obliuque

There are no reservations left at the Ames Hotel. The historic downtown Boston hotel closed its doors Sept. 23—and will reopen them to a slew of lucky Suffolk University students in the fall of 2020.

As reported last month, the Hilton-owned hotel had been acquired by Suffolk University for conversion into a student dormitory. The $63.5 million sale will close tomorrow, September 24, making today the final days for non-student guests to reside in the hotel. To transform the 114-bed luxury lodging into the “One Court Street Residence Hall” that will shelter some 266-280 students, the building will undergo some “minor renovations,” according to John Nucci, Suffolk’s Senior Vice President of External Affairs.

Despite talk of renovations, lovers of the building’s ornate masonry need not fret. “Given the historic and beautiful external facade we will, of course, be making no changes to it,” assures Nucci. Even the interior will need minimal updates, he says, given the hotel’s amenable layout.

The sale and upcoming transformation goes to show, as Curbed Boston points out, just how creative universities are willing to get to house growing numbers of students—an effort that could also alleviate the housing shortage for the rest of the city.

The five minute stroll from the Ames Hotel at 1 Court Street to Suffolk’s Colleges of Arts and Sciences and its Sawyer Business School, which currently enroll some 5,000 undergrads, makes the boutique hotel ultra convenient for student commutes. On top of the prime location, the lack of extensive renovations needed to repurpose the hotel as a residence hall was a major selling point for Suffolk, Nucci says.

While the university has not yet filed any official documents with the Boston Planning & Development Agency, they have begun meeting with “an assortment of external stakeholders,” says Nucci. “We are looking forward to a robust review and hearing input on the project by the city as well as neighbors, elected officials, and other external stakeholders.”

Should the review process go to plan, Suffolk expects to welcome a sizable group of undergrads into One Court Street next fall. And, as incoming freshman wary of dingy dorms should be happy to hear, they plan to open eligibility to first-year students, too.